Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lovely Places To Eat When You Are Stranded in St. Barth's

Part II

St. Barth's is a Caribbean Island with one toe in the Atlantic. The island began 50 million years ago when God used his mulligan after Tijuana, Cozumel, and Panama City. So he created a French and Swedish colonial island where truffles grow on foie gras trees and fish ferry fresh fruits from Neptune's treasure chest. Needless to say, it is a horrific place to visit if you don't like wonderful food, unspoiled beaches, and the smell of the ocean.

So if you happen to find yourself stranded in St. Barth's, here are some places you should eat, if you must.

Every morning we headed to La Petite Colombe Boulangerie for croissants, fresh squeezed orange juice, and cafe creme. I am not making that name up, for you insiders of the blog. Any time your day begins by dodging shrapnel from a near perfect croissant and tearing ends off of a baguette, I would say your day can only go up. Grab a sandwich on your way to the beach. We grew partial to the Curry Chicken Salad.
K'Fe Massai was a charming African attired, world flavored, French bistro. To start Lindsay got a duo of raw beef: carpaccio and tartare. I jumped on the foie gras torchon with fig mostarda with such gusto the waiter shuddered. For my main I had an ethereal pork dish (which did not photo well) with perfectly cooked vegetables and caramelized rice with a soy sauce glaze. Lindsay head butted this seafood risotto, with chunks of lobsters, shrimp, scallops, and mahi mahi. Her main complaint? She wanted more.

For dessert, Lindsay chose an apple tart tatin with cinnamon ice cream. It came with a crown of sesame.
I had the Ti Punch barely understanding what that was. What arrived was a glass of vanilla rum and a Liuzza's style schooner of lemon sorbet. The sorbet had chunks of lemon confit which created a dynamic textural balance to the tart and smooth sorbet. You poured the rum over the sorbet, swirled it around, and watched your troubles fall to the wayside. At least that is how I did it.
Probably one of my favorite meals of the trip was at this little spot called Andy's The Hideaway. At lunchtime, it became the hub of the island with the gendarme, city clerks, and workmen sharing bottles of cold, vin ordinaire rouge as they tucked into the plat du jour. We opted for more Carpaccio. The Carpaccio came awash in a less formal version of pesto. Lemon, basil, and olive oil, lightly pureed and painted over thin slices of beef tenderloin. This Carpaccio was so good it made you wonder why man discovered fire.

Then some pizzas. A Neapolitan for Lindsay with extra anchovies and one with Bayonne ham for me. I am sure you are saying, "Pizzas, cheesburgers, you tourists." Shut up, we were on vacation and the smells from the oven could not be ignored. Plus they were studies in why a pizza made with a thin-crust and judicious use of toppings is just damn good.
Guess which pizza had ham on it? After Lindsay downed her Planter's Punch we ordered a Carafe of the aforementioned wine. The afternoon's appointments were seriously in jeopardy.
Dessert of course was more ice cream with liquor on the top. Here, they chose strawberry and lemoncello. A call was placed, all appointments for the afternoon were canceled in favor of a nap by the pool.
More on St. Barth's next week, including our run in with high gastronomy, foams, and wheels of parmesan.

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